The European Banking Federation is the voice of the European banking sector, uniting 32 national banking associations in Europe that together represent some 4,500 banks – large and small, wholesale and retail, local and international – employing about 2.5 million people. EBF members represent banks that make available loans to the European economy in excess of €20 trillion and that securely handle more than 300 million payment transactions per day. Launched in 1960, the EBF is committed to creating a single market for financial services in the European Union and to supporting policies that foster economic growth. The EBF applies a clear policy of openness in registering in the European Commission and the European Parliament’s registers of interest representatives and by declaring its expenses, which remain proportionate to the importance of the banking sector in the economy. All EBF positions are publicly available on the organisation’s website. Like other interest representatives, be they trade associations, individual companies, Non-Governmental Organisations, consumer representations, trade unions, etc, the EBF benefits from an open access to the European institutions, which are transparent bodies. The institutions regularly consult all stakeholders as part of the legislative process. Banks are natural funders of the economy, where – in Europe in particular – they hold over 75% of the total private sector credit, based on clear, long-standing and reliable rules. European banks do acknowledge a responsibility in the current crisis, but they clearly cannot be blamed for all of it. While our industry is responsible for banking, it is not in charge of regulation or of monetary policy, nor is it responsible for public spending. Furthermore, European banks are actively putting their house in order, so they are able to keep playing their part. Banks nevertheless remain commercial operators in a market economy and while they are generally active financial markets players, most focus on traditional banking, such as lending to small and large enterprises and individuals, and take pride in fostering the economy.